Category Archives: International Days

Happy National Read in a Bathtub Day

We have your CLEAN reads.

Read in a Bathtub 1Yes, friends, that’s a thing. February 9th is National Read in a Bathtub Day. Isn’t that a perfect day for a clean read? Get it? Clean read?

In honor of this auspicious occasion, and because we’re just nice like that, Laura Hile and I have surprises for you. Such deals!

Read in a Bathtub Laura

Laura is offering Marrying Well for Fun and Profit, her hilarious tome of Sir Walter Elliot’s relationship advice for the Upwardly Mobile Miss, for FREE. Yes, I just said that! You can have Sir Walter for nothing! (Just don’t tell Sir Walter. Let him think he’s popular and people love him because he’s wonderful. He wouldn’t like being FREE.)

Read in a Bathtub

I, too, have an humble gesture of good will in honor of the day. Understanding Elizabeth is on sale for 99 cents. Fabulous! Simply fabulous!

So soak your tired bones in some bubble bath and enjoy a couple of good books.  In fact, you can find our books, along with more than fifty other  CLEAN READS here. All books are priced at 99 cents or are FREE!

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Not Too Hot

Today is October 7. As I mused on that, I was reminded of a quote from that classic movie (and perennial favorite at our house) Miss Congeniality. One of the movie’s funniest moments came when Stan Fields asked Miss Rhode Island (Cheryl) her interview question in the Miss United States pageant. Check out her answer.

misscongenialityapril25-490x532

This is that sort of day in the South. After I wasted several minutes of my life and a few hundred brain cells pondering that, I began to think – not always a good thing, but I did it anyway. I asked myself, “Self, wasn’t anyone important born on October 7? Did anything of import happen on this day in history?” So I went to the source of all knowledge, Google, and found some answers. They are mostly, “No.”

In 1492, Christopher Columbus changed course and missed Florida, and in 1913, Henry Ford instituted the assembly line. In 1780, the American militia defeated the British near Kings Mountain, NC. In 1942, the United Nations was established. We saw the far side of the moon for the first time in 1959, utilizing the USSR’s Luna 3. In 1969, ABC and NBC began broadcasting. Film star Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California in 2003.

Birthdays include Niels Bohr, Yo-Yo Ma, Toni Braxton, Simon Cowell, John Cougar Mellencamp, James Whitcomb Riley, and Joy Behar.

Hits and misses in both lists, but I won’t tell you which ones I think are misses.

All in all, I think Cheryl had it right
– except for the date. And, by the way, she won with that answer.
Miss-Congeniality-Movie-Quote
MissCongeniality

I just love the ridiculous.

April Fools’ Eve, a short history of the holiday

What does your family do on the eve of a holiday? In my family, Christmas Eve is spent at church, reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) is now a time for fall festivals, but in past years, we took our children trick-or-treating at the homes of friends and relatives. New Year’s Eve, we usually go bowling with a large group of friends, and we watch a bowl game at the bowling alley. (For the uninitiated, bowl games are football games pitting the best college teams from across the country against other teams which are in different leagues.)

Most of the time, we are planning for the actual holiday or talking about the meaning of the day. Do you know the origin of April Fools’ (Fools, Fool’s – all depending on the source) Day? I know you’re dying to find out, so I slaved for hours researching the subject for you. (Actually I Googled it.)

Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held on March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, celebrated by playing pranks in Spanish-speaking countries, on December 28.

An April Fools' Day prank with a purported new design of an (alleged) city bus, from an April 1926 issue of the company newspaper "Echo Continental", published by the Continental Rubber Works Hannover AG company

An April Fools’ Day prank with a purported new design of an (alleged) city bus, from an April 1926 issue of the company newspaper “Echo Continental”, published by the Continental Rubber Works Hannover AG company

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), the “Nun’s Priest Tale” is set thirty-two days after April, or on May 2. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean March 32, or April 1. In the tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox. Was that an April Fools’ joke?

Literary allusions to April Fool’s Day abound.  In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1.In 1686, in the first British reference to the day, John Aubrey referred to it as “Fooles holy day.” On 1 April 1698, a trickster convinced several people into going to washing of the lions at The Tower of London. There are many, many (yawn), many other examples.

On 1 April 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

On 1 April 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

Different countries celebrate the day in various ways. April Fools’ Day is traditionally called Hunt-the-Gowk Day in Scotland. It’s a sort of chain letter in which the sender asks the receiver for help in hunting gawk (foolish person). The letter is sent along until someone is dumb enough to fall for it. I like it – humiliating with nothing to clean up afterward. That’s my kind of practical joke. In Iran, it’s the thirteenth day of the Persian new year, celebrated as far back as 536 B.C. What does that have to do with April Fools’ Day? I have no clue, but Iran gets the prize for the oldest tradition linked to the holiday.

In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, the April 1 tradition is often known as “April fish” (poisson d’avril in French or pesce d’aprile in Italian). Jokesters try to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. I like that.

I’ll think I’ll spend this evening thinking about fools I’ve known and loved, and cutting out fish. Watch your back tomorrow.

Good news for bacon lovers!

Perhaps Austen was onto something when she had Emma Woodhouse send Mrs. and Miss Bates a hindquarter of pork. One of my favorite lines belongs to Miss Bates as she exclaims to Emma, “What a happy porker it must have come from!” She then shrieks at her hearing-impaired mama, “PORK, Mother!”

This is Australian National Bacon Week, and it occurs to me that Ponce de Leon could have saved himself a great deal of time and expense spent searching for the Fountain of Youth. The secret to long life probably lolled happily in a mud hole on a nearby farm. (Hence the old saying, “Happy as a pig in slop.”)

It's BACON!

It’s BACON!

According to the Huffington Post, a 105-year-old Texas woman says the secret to her longevity is bacon. She became a widow at age 38, reared 7 children alone, and worked as everything from a cotton picker to a hay baler. I’m not surprised that she didn’t credit her long life to getting plenty of sleep.

“I love bacon. I eat it everyday,” Pearl Cantrell told NBC affiliate KRBC when asked her secret to living so long. “I don’t feel as old as I am. That’s all I can say.”

I admire this woman, a great-great-grandmother who still enjoys country dancing, waltzing, and two-stepping, and who kept mowing her own lawn until the age of 100.

When Oscar Mayer heard about Pearl’s love of cured pork, they sent one of its Wienermobiles to her home with a special bacon delivery. She rode “shot-bun” in the Wienermobile through her hometown.

I’m stopping short of advocating that our readers follow Mrs. Cantrell’s example. Most doctors would advise people to avoid the high-fat meat. Even so, I’m also not a person who thinks people should give up foods that they absolutely love. Perhaps moderation is the key?

Don’t miss International No-Diet Day!

chocolateMay is National Strawberry Month (as well as Hamburger Month, Asparagus Month, Salad Month, and Salsa Month), and my mind naturally turned to one of the celebrated foods of love – chocolate covered strawberries. Of course I would take a perfectly healthy fruit, which tingles the taste buds and makes a beautiful appearance in its natural state, and advocate dipping it in a calorie-laden, high-fat food, designed specifically to please the palate in every way. Come to think of it, that makes perfect sense. Chocolate is a tasty metaphor for those first giddy months of young love. I’ll let you ponder that on your own.

The really good news is that today is International No-Diet Day. Folks, that’s an international day, not just a national day. It’s practically a mandate! In honor of the day, I’m going to ditch the strawberries (too healthy) and go with the chocolate. Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, so I can have what I want all week. Right?

Here’s my chocolate drabble, and it’s true!

She loved him beyond all reason and thought she knew him better than she knew anyone else, but when he presented her with her Christmas present, she was truly puzzled. A gift bag full of Hershey kisses? That’s my Christmas present? Oh, well. I love him for his beautiful soul and sweet spirit, not for what I can get from him.Hershey kisses

He was unusually excited and eager when he gave her the bag, so she smiled, trying to please him.

“Kisses? Thank you, Boo! I love chocolate, and kisses from you are always wonderful.”

His delight showed in his smile. “The kisses are not the gift, silly. Look in the bag.”

She raked her hands through the candies and found a box and a card. The card read, I know how much you love kisses, so here are 356, one for every day I’ve known you.

When she opened the box, she found a beautiful watch, and she adored it, but she realized that the true gift was a loving man who would think of such a way to present it to her. All that was left for her to do was to find a proper way to express her thanks, and she did.